Cranberries are in season now and soon we’ll all likely be enjoying a plethora of cranberry inspired recipes, such as; cranberry sauces, cranberry bread, muffins, cookies and more. What you likely won’t find will be cranberries used solely for their medicinal purpose. Years ago, I was alerted to the amazing health properties of cranberries by Anne Louise Gittleman, author of ‘The Fat Flush‘. In her dietary protocol, she recommends that one drink 8 glasses of cranberry water per day to help eliminate water retention, clean accumulated waste from the lymphatic system and also to help clean up cellulite. More great information on the benefits of cranberries on health can be found in this article by the University of Maryland Medical Center. Of course you may already know that cranberries are a great prevention for urinary tract infections and an overall healing support to the kidneys. Not to mention high in antioxidants and a good source of vitamin C.
In wanting to get more cranberry juice into my daily regime, I decided to come up with a cranberry tea blend. I chose this Cranberry Nettles Tea blend for several reasons (see the list of health benefits below). For one thing, cranberries are very tart but a drink with added sugar is not ideal for me or anyone really. So, I paired some unsweetened cranberry juice with my nettles tea blend that I sweeten with green leaf stevia. This tea is mildly sweetened with no negative side effects of sugar. Great for anyone, especially diabetics or anyone with blood sugar issues, as well as those with candida.
Another possible benefit of drinking cranberry juice, is that it can help to resolve H. Pylori. It appears to block H. Pylori from adhering to the stomach tissue, in the same way it does in the bladder. (1) (2) (3)
Nettles, are yet another profoundly helpful herb that benefit the kidneys. They are good for the urinary system and for cystitis. Paired with the cranberries this tea is a double whammy for anyone with urinary or kidney issues. Nettles are a very versatile and effective medicinal herb, something we should all have in our pantries. Nettle is rich in many minerals, including; iron, calcium, potassium, silicon, magnesium, manganese, zinc and chromium. It’s also high in B vitamins and a host of other vitamins and minerals. It’s known to be a great tonic for the hair and scalp. Nettles are good for our nerves, bones and kidneys and can be an excellent energy tonic. Nettle is also extremely helpful for dealing with liver issues, as well as allergies and hay fever. Nettles could be considered an excellent overall herbal tonic for anyone. From what I understand there is no known overdose on nettles. Did I mention the B vitamins, minerals and the fact that nettles are an overall energy tonic make it a great way to nourish the adrenals as well?
How To Make Unsweetened Cranberry Juice
To make unsweetened cranberry juice from scratch, simply add 12 ounces fresh cranberries into a large saucepan. Add 4 cups of filtered water, and boil until all the berries pop. Strain the juice. Pour into an empty 32 ounce cranberry juice bottle and add enough water to fill. This recipe makes 32 ounces of pure cranberry juice -enough for 5 batches of this tea. This is a great time of year to stock up on cranberries and freeze so you can make this anytime you like. You can also buy unsweetened cranberry juice from the store though it’s often pretty pricey. By making your own at home it can cut the cost easily in half if not more. Even though this is the more frugal option, I personally like the bottled cranberry juice better. I find it more tart and I like that. So play with this recipe a bit -if you like a tarter cranberry juice add less water to the strained cranberry brew.
- Makes 2 quarts
- 6-8 ounces unsweetened cranberry juice, homemade (see recipe in post) or store bought, depending on your taste preference
- 1 cup dried nettle leaf
- 3 tsp. dried spearmint leaf
- 2 tsp. dried green leaf stevia
- In a 2 quart mason jar with a lid, place the nettles, spearmint and stevia.
- Pour 1 quart of boiling water over the herbs.
- Stir, then put the lid on and allow to steep for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Strain the herbs out (make sure to compost them, I feed them to my worms), rinse out the jar and pour the strained tea back into the jar.
- Add 6-8 ounces of unsweetened cranberry juice and enough water to fill.
- Drink 2- 4 cups per day.
- Enjoy this tea hot or cold. I drink it at room temperature.
When purchasing your herbs, I recommend you buy them in bulk. I go through 1 lb of nettles every other month easily when making this tea (along with others). Making this herbal tea concoction a very affordable way to get in some additional nutrition and health benefits. I also recommend picking up a copy of Rosemary Gladstar’s book, ‘Herbal Recipes For Vibrant Health‘ if you want to learn about more natural recipes for your family. I’m finding it to be an invaluable reference in my home.
Sources: (1)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15810945, (2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18343637, (3) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cranberry/NS_patient-cranberry/DSECTION=evidence